ECONOMY

In Brief

Cabinet considers future of Greek farming under new CAP Greece’s basic goal in the coming renegotiation of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is to exempt Greek farmers from the reduction in subsidies and to work for greater protection for its own Mediterranean products (tobacco, wine and olive oil), Agriculture Minister Giorgos Drys said after yesterday’s three-hour Cabinet meeting on the subject. He said the Commission’s proposals leave 90 percent of Greek farmers unaffected and the government will seek to extend the exemptions to all of them. Regarding Mediterranean products, Drys said the government has proposed their inclusion in the negotiations for the new CAP but has not found an adequate response. Reflecting an intention to adopt a tougher stand, he said it was unlikely the new CAP would be adopted by June when the Greek presidency ends. Prime Minister Costas Simitis said Greece received the largest subsidies per acre in the EU and in the last three years farmers’ real income per head had risen 14 percent. Under the revised CAP, farm supports would be secure until 2013, he added. Retail sector expected to pick up after Easter Retail commerce is still in a subdued phase due to international developments but a trend toward recovery in the near future is visible, officials of the Retail Enterprises Association of Greece (SELPE) said at the first International Conference on Retail Commerce in Athens. SELPE Chairman Antonis Makris said that Greek consumers seem to be somewhat affected by the climate of global uncertainty – but not by the Iraq war, as the Greek retail sector continues to invest, expand and create new jobs. Supermarket Association officials described the mood of consumers as subdued but expect it to turn around after Easter. Economy Minister Nikos Christodoulakis told the conference the 2004 Olympic Games will give Greek retail trade a significant boost and advised firms to prepare for it. Lavipharm Pharmaceutical firm Lavipharm will provide know-how in the field of hypercritical fluids for the designing of new medicines, within the framework of a three-year deal signed with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), it said. «The technology of hypercritical fluids promises to play an especially important role in the pharmaceutical industry and in Lavipharm we have a partner with pioneering applications in it,» said GSK’s Harry Ferres. Lavipharm already has partnerships in hypercritical fluid technology with other foreign firms. A week ago, it announced a deal with US-based Senetek in the field of personal care products. Army contract Mytilineos group members METKA and Hellenic Vehicle Industry (ELVO) will undertake contracts worth a combined 170 million euros for participation in the construction of 170 Leopard tanks and 12 army recovery vehicles (ARVs) for the Greek army, under a Defense Ministry contract recently signed with Germany’s Kraus Maffei Wegmann. Tax offenders The Finance Ministry has detected 78,378 property owners who did not declare income from rents and 14,168 who declared less than they received in the income tax declarations filed last year; a further 26,616 did not file income tax declarations at all; the offenders will be asked to submit new statements and be subject to fines.